I would like to thank the following people for allowing me to use the photographs contained within this book, The School Wellingborough, Northampton Saints Football Club, The Rugby Football Union, Northampton Chronicle and Echo, Jake Richardson, The Richardson Group, John Scott , Tim Rodber, Matt Dawson, Ben Cohen, Martin Hynes, Keith Barwell, Ian hunter, Paul Grayson, The Public School Wanderers, The Barbarian Football Club, The Cafe Royal, Federico Méndez, Pat Lam, Joel Stransky, John Inverdale, Phinda Game Reserve, Getty images.

I have no idea why when I walked to Twickenham that night with Matt Dawson, that I would decide to right a book the following day, about my wonderful memories. They seem as vivid today as they did when I was living them. Daws you were the catalyst that gave me the confidence to get going on this very cathartic journey. You are living proof of what can be achieved if you have a common purpose and I thank you for initiating the latent desire I had to undertake this journey.

Dad, Mum, Nicola you laid the foundations that I needed to stride forth on this voyage of discovery. It was Joy, Grandma and Nan alongside you that provided me with the stability that I needed to realise my desire to travel and meet people from all parts of the world, knowing that my roots were very firmly entrenched in my beloved Northampton.

To Graham Garrett, for allowing me the chance to study at Wellingborough. Mike Askham for nurturing my sporting ability and providing me with encouragement on the other facets of the school curriculum.

To the institution that is Northampton Saints and for everyone who has enjoyed watching the men that have worn the Black, Green and Gold. You provided me with more than I could ever repay in just over a decade that I spent in these wonderful colours.

To life after rugby and the partnership that I had with Tim Rodber, who helped me manage what could have been a difficult transition. To Alice Bufton who took the baton over from Rodders to become my best friend and my wife. I love you Alice with all my heart and the two children that we have brought into this world, Scarlett and Harry. You are the wind beneath my wings and without you I wouldn’t have been able to have met Francesca Heslop, who believed that this was a story worth telling. Thank you for your encouragement and support throughout. Lastly to Patrica Julie Allen (Mum) who continues to inspire me with her spiritual presence.